2009 Viré-Clessé Vieilles Vignes – J.M. Chaland

Independence Day? Really? How nice that it falls on a Monday this year to give us all a long weekend. So, what are y’all doing? Plenty of good weather going around these days. Family gatherings, parades, barbecues and baseball; whatever it is you’re doing, from all of us at TWH, we wish you a Happy 4th of July! With the madness of the 2010 Bordeaux Futures campaign almost behind us, I’m going to take it easy. I’ll be hanging out with friends and family, hitting a barbecue or two, and whipping something up in the treehouse kitchen. So the question then becomes, what’s it going to be?

Don’t for a second think it ever goes down any differently than this: What’s the wine? Tonight, I’m going for White Burgundy. Hang on, before y’all think I’m getting all elitist, let me clarify that by saying I’m going for affordable White Burgundy! We just sent out David’s introduction to the wines of Jean-Marie Chaland, and your response has been terrific, as many of you took advantage of the steep discount of the sampler. A little insight as to how we roll around here: before we send something like that out, we wait for a day when we’re ALL here (tougher to coordinate than you think), and then we start popping corks. There are no better staff tasting days than those days where the tasting table is full of Burgundy (I say that because there never is a day when anything from Bordeaux is opened in this manner). Sometimes we taste as a group, sometimes in pairs, and sometimes we take solo trips over to the table, it just depends. I happened to make my first run-through with Chris (not the first time), and we were both highly impressed with the lineup. Though the single vineyard wines really strutted their stuff with their depth, complexity and individuality, the wine that I was most pleasantly surprised with was the 2009 Viré-Clessé Vieilles Vignes! From a pure price perspective, this one delivers … huge! It’s a lively little number that shows fleshy Chardonnay fruit, yet it is rich with mineral driven complexity. Other staffers tasted the wines as well, and we reconvened after closing to share our collective thoughts. I wasn’t alone in being pleasantly surprised by the quality the Vieilles Vignes dishes out for the price! With the fancier single vineyard bottles up for grabs, it was easy for me to not only bring home the VV, but I looked all the more generous by letting my colleagues have the single vineyard bottlings! So yeah, this is how it always goes down. Every time. I’ve got the wine, now what?

A quick check of the temperature at home reveals that it is 90 degrees Farenheit (I’m typing this at 4:00 PM local time). Okay, so that means that I’m pretty much NOT cooking anything, not tonight anyway. Hmmm. If I grab a rotisserie chicken on my way home, I’ve got dinner, breakfast (shredded chicken omelette) and lunch (chicken sandwich) covered. What a great idea! See? One good bottle of wine can inspire 3 meals! Whether at home or at a restaurant, that’s how it goes down. Every time. Wine first, the rest is magic.I’m really looking forward to a couple of days off in a row. I’ll be spending time with family and friends, taking care of a few treehouse related chores, and relaxing. There will be an old fashioned 4th of July Parade right down the street I live on (after the pancake feed, of course), so as long as I stay put, the party’s coming to me. Hmmm. Maybe I should take 2 bottles of Viré-Clessé home!Peter Zavialoff
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Filed under Burgundy, French Wine, Jean-Marie Chaland, Peter Zavialoff

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